New policy sees G Adventures take hit

New policy sees G Adventures take hit
By admin

G Adventures has predicted it could lose around $800,000 as a direct result of its new policy to operate all tours irrespective of how many bookings it has taken.

But the adventure operator shrugged off the financial hit saying such a loss should be regarded as a “cost of business”.

The company announced last month (Travel Today, September 27) that it will guarantee the departure of all tours from the new year, a move it claimed was a first in the adventure travel sector.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip said it was fundamentally wrong for operators to take thousands of dollars from customers, hold it for months “to fund our businesses” and then possibly cancel the tour shortly before departure.

Such uncertainty means consumers are often reluctant to lock in airfares early. When tours are finally confirmed, those airfares have often risen, Poon Tip said.

“That horrifies me,” he told Travel Today. “On average people spend $2800 on our tours and I take that very seriously. It is very stressful to pay that amount of money and then be kept waiting for confirmation that the tour will operate. It is our job to make the customer experience better. We want to make it as easy and as stress free as possible for agents and consumers.”

Poon Tip estimated the move would cost his firm $800,000 as some tours would inevitably run with fewer than the four of five needed to return a profit.

“We will lose money but that should be viewed as a cost of doing business.” he said

Despite the expected loss, G Adventure is not a charity and will be banking on carefully managing its inventory to ensure those losses are kept to a minimum.

Customers booked on tours with less than a handful of tourists will also be contacted and asked whether they would like to change dates.

Poon Tip said some travellers may prefer to travel in a larger group as part of the tour experience, rather than with just one or two people.

But he insisted no pressure would be applied and that the decision would be totally the customers’ own.

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